I had planned to resume regular blogging today, but I need another day or two to focus my thoughts. I'll resume blogging again by January 1 at the very latest.
I am taking a short respite from blogging to celebrate Christmas and meditate on the significance and meaning of this most important of days. I am also planning to spend some much needed time with my family. I will return to daily blogging on the 29th or the 30th.
Until then, I wish everyone a Happy Christmas.
It was the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere today. The winter solstice. A day marked by the domination of darkness over light. As I thought about it this morning, it occurred to me that we are living in the age of the winter solstice – an age in which darkness dominates light; encroaches upon; seeks to eradicate it. Those who seek light must inevitably work through the darkness to reach it. It has always been that way, but perhaps it is more that way now than it has been in the past.
That Christmas and the winter solstice coincide over a short span of days is common knowledge, but few recognize the mystery contained in the obvious. I don’t have the key to the mystery myself, but I can sense the significance in the light being born during the darkest of days when gloom and bleakness oppresses everything, including hope. On the one hand, the winter solstice signifies peak darkness. On the other hand, it marks the point after which dark tide ebbs and the light once again begins to flow.
And we are all working through the darkness in some way or other. Some appear perfectly content to remain in the murky gloom; to turn their backs on the light and burrow deeper into the shadows, ever farther from the light. Others are led astray by fireworks and false beacons. The fireworks dazzle and mesmerize, but essentially keep people rooted in the dark through illusion. Darkness descends quickly and firmly and remains once the brilliant displays end. The false beacons offer faux salvation but essentially lure onto rocky shores – the shipwrecks of souls.
And yet there are some who recognize the light and are drawn to it. Some are very close to the light; others, like me, are still mired in darkness. We battle through the somber blackness, determined to close the distance between ourselves and the promise the light offers. The winter solstice bespeaks promise and hope. This inspires faith. This faith fortifies us as we continue to work through the darkness. Yes, the light may appear brief and distant, but it is there. The light is always there; and one day we will be there with it, always.
When it comes to Christmas carols and songs, I have no clear favorite, but I have always cherished "Good Bless You Merry, Gentlemen" particularly for its first stanza which, in my opinion, sums up the whole point of celebrating Christmas quite profoundly and succinctly.
God rest you merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour
Was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
Blog and Comments
Blog posts tend to be spontaneous, unpolished, first draft entries ranging from the insightful and periodically profound to the poorly-argued and occasionally disparaging.
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Blogs/Sites I Read
Bruce Charlton's Notions
Meeting the Masters
From The Narrow Desert
Twisting the Tail of the Cosmos
Deep Britain and Ireland